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Village Voice – August edition is out!

You can read the latest issue here.

Huge thanks, as ever, for all the team who put in so much hard to to create this issue.

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Parish Council statement on the lifting of COVID restrictions

The Parish Council wishes to make their position absolutely clear about the lifting of restrictions on Monday 19th July. Everyone will have heard about the government plans and there will be many interpretations about what is the best, safest, most appropriate or least damaging way of proceeding. We all know what it has been like for us, our families, our friends and neighbours over the last twenty months and we are yearning to be living as “normally” as possible once more.

However, it is clear from all sides that there is no certainty about any of the predictions and so we must recognise that whilst some of us will be keen to resume “normal living”, others in our community may still be fearful or worried about what the future holds. We all know people who have not seen their families for over a year; who have struggled with the difficulties of home schooling; who have worried about the lack of money, work and support; and who have felt the strain on their mental health. It is of paramount importance that we continue to recognise our different experiences and continue to show respect and understanding to those whose views are different from our own. We have done this as a community with sensitivity and support during the pandemic so far and the Parish Council believes we should continue in the same way.

In particular this means:

  1. We should continue to wear a face mask when we go into the surgeries and shops on which we all depend.
  2. We should remember to carry a mask and use it in those narrow outside areas where we all have to squeeze past each other.
  3. We should respect and follow the rules which our schools have introduced for the safety of our children. We also need to follow the rules for isolating in order to protect others in our community.
  4. We should check that any vulnerable or isolating neighbours are receiving the support they need in getting shopping and supplies.
  5. We should think carefully about our visits, trips, and plans so that we do not unintentionally cause harm to others. There are still clinically vulnerable people in our community who cannot take the vaccine and therefore rely upon us to protect them. We should remember that we can still pass on the infection even if we do not have symptoms.
  6. We should keep a very careful watch for any signs of illness in our family groups – and especially our children or those who have not been vaccinated.

The Parish Council hopes that we will all be able to remember these reasonable requests so that our community has the best chance of coming through this pandemic.

There is more information here.

Paul Kent on behalf of Pill and Easton in Gordano Parish Council.

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Tree planting aftercare: Volunteers needed

Tree mulching volunteers wanted: Come along on Sunday the 18th October 2pm to join the Friends of WHH and the Parish council’s Climate action volunteers to help look after the new trees planted by NSC on Watch House Hill (By the old oak). Due to Covid NSC have been unable to organise their larger volunteer work parties. At the time of writing Volunteer work parties can be up to 30 outside – Luckily all trees have been planted 2m apart 🙂 Bring own tools for weeding and shovels / wheelbarrows to distribute the wood chippings. Contact Lucy for more info. 07929 655141

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Join Chilie’s community allotment!

Chilie’s community allotment group are welcoming new volunteers (Complying with latest Gov’t guidelines) if you’d like to learn about growing your own or feel a plot all of your own is too much to manage get in touch to join our what’s app group please contact Jill Coleman: 07813 927416 or join us on alternate Tuesday mornings beginning on Tue 13th October. We are also offering our services to pick and distribute/ make use of any surplus fruit & veg. harvests, so if you have runner bean, marrow and apple overload we can help!

(Photo by Lucy Byrne)

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Village Voice – October edition is out!

You can read the latest issue here.

Huge thanks, as ever, for all the team who put in so much hard to to create this issue.

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Sign up for the North Somerset Citizens’ Panel!

Residents, students and workers in North Somerset are being urged to get involved in local decision making with the launch of a new citizens’ panel.

North Somerset Council is recruiting a group of volunteers to give regular feedback on local services and issues to help shape the future of the area.

The panel will be consulted on a wide range of topics, from bins and roads to social care and planning, with feedback used to inform how services are run.

The Citizens’ Panel will not replace formal consultations but will complement them and offer another way for the people of North Somerset to have their voices heard.

The council is asking residents to form the panel now with the first survey expected by the end of the year.

Anyone wishing to sign up to the panel, please click here.

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Reminder of closures of M5 Junction 19 and Martcombe Road September/October

A reminder from North Somerset Council that Highways England will be again closing the following: Further closures of M5 Junction 19 and Martcombe Road (entrance and exit) are required by Highways England on the following dates: 28 Sept – 1st Oct 20.00-06.00hrs & 6-14 October 20.00 – 06.00hrs. There will be a revocation of the left turn and a right hand turn created from High Street, Portbury. 

Here are details from Highway England regarding diversions:

Traffic from Portbury Hundred and M5 north.

  • Traffic wanting to travel M5 south will divert via M5 north to J18, Avonmouth and re-join M5 south via the Y loop.
  • Traffic wanting Martcombe Road will divert via M5 north to J18 Avonmouth, A4 Portway, A370, B3218 and B3219 Beggar Bush Lane to re-join A369 Martcombe Road (Vehicles not permitted on the Motorway) Non motorway traffic only wanting Martcombe road will divert via Royal Portbury Dock Road and Marsh Lane 

Traffic from M5 south

  • Traffic wanting Martcombe Road will divert via  M5 south at J18 Avonmouth, A4 Portway, A370, B3218 and B3219 Beggar Bush Lane to re-join A369 Martcombe Road
  • Traffic wanting Portbury Hundred will divert to M5 J20 and back to M5 J19

The notice can be read here.

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Proposal for land on the A369 at Martcombe

Shared for public information, from Barton Wilmore on behalf of L&Q Estates, is the details regarding its proposal for land on the A369 at Martcombe;

On behalf of L&Q Estates please find attached our brochure for the land at Pill.

We are in the process of re-shaping the vision and principles for the Pill Green site and we would welcome your engagement in that process. The proposals will be aimed at sensitively growing Pill in a way that integrates with the existing village, bringing substantial new benefits to all.

We would very much like to engage with you to develop the principles and plans further to ensure any future proposals respond to the needs and requirements of both the existing and new residents of Pill.

 This document can be found here.

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Creating a Pond

Even a very small pond can be a fantastic benefit for wildlife and a source of real interest in a garden. To make it easier for people to create their own small ponds, the Parish Council has bought a reasonable amount of high quality pond liner with underlay for people to buy at £5 per sq. metre. It can be available almost as soon as you contact us to place an order, which must be for a rectangular piece. The underlay is really helpful in protecting against damage to the liner by small sharp stones etc.

(Photo – Lucy Byrne)

The first question of course, is “How much liner do I need?” You can go online and find guidance about this, but for some reason the guidelines assume that you should be making a pond that is three feet deep and has vertical sides. This inevitably uses a great deal of liner, and is almost certainly not what you want, for two reasons:

a) 3 ft (90 cm) is very deep and involves a great deal of work to remove the earth etc: the figure seems to be based on absolute protection against frost, but it would take the sort of hard and prolonged frost that we never experience in these parts to cause a problem of this sort. A maximum depth of 2ft (60 cm) seems absolutely fine.

b) many of the plants you might want to have in a pond won’t thrive in deep water, and having shallower sections is desirable.

So, to estimate the amount of liner you want, we suggest:

a) look at where you are going to put the pond and decide on its length and breadth. (Make sure this area is level – you don’t want one side of your pond to be higher than another!)

b) draw two scale models of the pond in profile – one from end to end, and the other from side to side. The drawings will show how deep you want the bottom of the pond to be in cross-section in these two directions

c) use a piece of thread or thin string to follow the line of the pond bottom in each direction, and measure the length of the from one end to the other – then convert to the real dimensions. (So, for example, if scale is 1 inch per foot, and your piece of thread measures 7½” from one side of the pond to the other then you need 7½ Feet (2.25 metres) of liner – except that you need to add 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) all the way round to create an edge to your pond that you will weight down with stones.)

It’s a good idea to include a section of bog in your design if you have room – there are lots of plants that like bog, and that insects love! If you do do this, keep the pond and the bog separate: the reason is that it’s a good idea to make a very few small slits in the liner for the bog section so that it does very slowly drain, like a natural bog, and you don’t want to lose water from the pond at the same time. Of course, the separation only needs to be a few inches where you leave the ground level above the water lever in the pond.

Plants

Note: after you have dug the pond, put the liner down and placed stones or bricks round the edge you can fill it straight away – rainwater is best, but tap water will be fine. Either way, leave it a few days to settle down before putting any plants in.

The one essential you need is something that will oxygenate the pond – you can probably get bits from friends who have ponds or we can put you in touch with someone who can spare some. Try to avoid importing duckweed – though you quite likely will in small amounts and it’s worth keeping an eye on the pond and removing any odd pieces of duckweed that appear as quickly as you can. (There is a great guide to plants for your pond here!)

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Free TV licence Information

A key point for people is to note that if you are aged 75 or over and covered by a free TV licence expiring on 31 July 2020, you do not have to do anything to stay properly licensed until they write to you. The TV Licencing letters will be sent from August. This General Notice applies in the UK only. For more see here.